Microsoft has launched a new partnership scheme encompassing 25 cloud providers that supply services built on its Cloud platform including Windows Server with Hyper-V, System Centre and Windows Azure Pack.
The consortium, known as the Cloud OS Network, touts providers including Fujitsu, Lenovo, T-Systems, SingTel, Capgemini and Outsourcery. Microsoft has touted the partnership as a way for cloud customers to avoid common cloud computing woes such as vendor lock-in, as well as a way of obtaining key benefits of hybrid cloud solutions including customisation, retaining data sovereignty and keeping control of privacy and security measures.
The Cloud OS Network operates in more than 90 countries with vendors that serve more than three million customers in 425 data centres, according to Microsoft.
Writing on Microsoft's TechNet blog, the company's vice president of cloud and enterprise marketing Takeshi Numoto explained that while Microsoft remains committed to its Azure platform, the launch of the Cloud OS network recognises the need for hybrid solutions.
"Our investment and commitment to Azure as a global cloud platform is enormous," he said. "But so is our belief in hybrid cloud and that there are going to be many, many clouds around the world due to the tremendous variety of customers and needs.
"The Cloud OS Network and our partnerships with its members demonstrate our focus on providing choice and flexibility to customers. And it's all based around the promise of the three connected clouds – private, public and service provider."
For the members of the consortium, Microsoft says the benefits will be in the ability to attract new customers through a unified set of compatible services that conform to Windows Azure best practices.
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